ACTION ALERT: Wildlife management in BC needs a different kind of overhaul

The headline is promising: B.C. wildlife management overhaul coming. But the story is really about the people responsible for so-called wildlife management looking to win votes by enhancing the flaws in an imperfect system.

Minster of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources Steve Thomson noted that a contractor is engaged with hunting, angling, and trapping groups to determine how the province can be “modernizing wildlife management going forward,” according to The Free Press. This “includes a discussion around how we would potentially see those licensing revenues move to a model where they would have more active say and management in the use of those resources."

Wildlife management was originally created to control consumptive users like trappers and hunters – not control wildlife populations. Over time, however, the flawed theory that humans need to control wildlife populations became part of the process, and remains, despite modern science showing how damaging this method has been. It is particularly devastating when game species are given precedence over all others, regardless of ecological consequence.

This move, which would give consumptive users a “more active say and management in the use of those resources” would be dangerous to British Columbia. It is giving control of the candy store to the children, and will set up the delicate ecosystems of BC for monumental failures, the likes of which could be irreparable.

Wildlife management should be about protecting ecosystems, habitat, and the living creatures within; not about how to squeeze the most money out of the blood of animals.

TAKE ACTION

Contact your MLA (if you’re a British Columbia resident, click here to find your MLA) or send a letter to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources (MLA Steve Thomson:FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca), as well as the Ministry of Tourism (MLA Shirley Bond: JTST.Minister@gov.bc.ca), and tell them you want wildlife management to live up to its name: protecting wildlife, habitats, and wild spaces from those who wish to do them harm. Make sure you forward any responses you receive to us so we can follow up as necessary!

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear (insert MLA’s name here),

As a resident of BC (or, as a potential investor and tourist to BC), I am extremely disappointed to see that your government intends to give more control to consumptive wildlife users without consideration for those who believe non-consumptive protections are of greater importance.

I implore you to reconsider this decision and look to the future of BC in the long-term – as well as a look to the past to see the dire consequences such policies left behind. Non-consumptive ecotourism is already skyrocketing past hunting or trapping for economic value in BC and should clearly be the priority. As a voting member in your constituency (or as someone interested in ecotourism in BC), I remind you that such polices will affect my decisions and attitudes regarding British Columbia in the future.

Sincerely,

(Your name and address)

WRITING TIPS

Stay on point:this issue is about theproposal to increase the influence of consumptive wildlife users in management policies – not anything else. Keep your comments directed to the facts and provide citations if necessary.

Stay polite and use spell check: if you’re rude, aggressive, misspell words, or use incorrect grammar, readers may become disengaged or dismissive of your points.

Provide solutions:rather than just say what’s wrong, say what’s right. Offer solutions or alternatives to help move forward conversations.

Identify yourself:it’s important to include your address when writing politicians so they know who you are, where you’re from, and that your vote will affect them in the next election.

Let us know what you hear:if you receive a message back from your representative, or they would like to discuss the issues in greater detail with us, please let us know by emailing fbd@thefurbearers.com.


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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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